August 19, 2013

Election Entices The Yummy Mummy Vote And Not Much Else

It's day fifteen of the 2013 Australian federal election, and after reading the pros and cons of the election promises, regarding the Liberal-National Party's paid parental leave scheme, I can only (as a single, post-fertile jobseeker) think of Moving Pictures lyrics,

"What about me, it isn't fair
I've had enough now I want my share
Can't you see I wanna live
But you just take more than you give."

Sorry mummies, but you do.

And herein is my dummy-spit.

You've got the Baby Bonus, Family Tax Benefits, the Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate, and those Parents with Prams parking spots.

And now, just because you're "young, feisty, sexy, and apparently brainy" (Tony's words not mine) - athough I add, "fertile" - you yummy mummies are getting all the electoral attention, and party bonbons. 

Which is why I am now SO OVER this age-biased, baby-bump obsessed election!

And from now on, as a childless unemploymentista of a certain age - with ovaries having gone south - I have gone right off the stress of watching the ABC News 24 continuous election coverage ....and hearing all about why paid maternity leave is such a key issue.  

The Courier Mail's Paul Svyret describes the policy as upper-middle-class welfare gone barking mad. And dog features and I would have to agree.

For sanity, I'm remaining glued to watching the old (very therapeutic) standby, TVSN (being the next best thing to sipping a Stilnox shandy).

And getting back to those lyrics: "What about me?" - and all my other post-fertile, post-nappy, truly poverty stricken, midlife jobseeking peers (that I see at the Job Network agency). What about the unemployment statistics that are moving steadily towards 6 per cent and beyond? (currently over 7.1 % in Adelaide).

Moving Pictures are right, "It damn well isn't fair!"

For while our pollies on all sides say the objective of paid parental leave is to sustain workforce participation, not one of them is focusing any attention on the employment (here and now and NOT in 9 months time) of baby-free (and baby-boomette) jobseekers who cannot even get a job interview. 

And, it's not as if we're asking for much. As a jobseeking woman of a certain age (at this depressing stage of the job hunt), all I'd expect from any employer would be  a two day working week.  And a chair to sit on would be good. 

But no, we're obviously too infertile, and boring to be given any attention. Which is why it's no surprise, that while our country's leaders overlook the mature-age unemployment issue (and associated entrenched ageism), most employers easily follow their example by ignoring and rejecting older jobseekers (regardless of excellent qualifications, skills, experience).

Meantime, Kevin Kardashian's selfies are all but forgotten following the eruption of hysteria over those "sexist" Tony Abbott comments about Fiona Scott. And as our political and media commentators continue to debate the topic of "sexism and the workplace" - ad nauseum - the issue of ageism and employment, does not even get a mention.  

Although, we know to expect massive media interest (and the issue predictably going viral) if the "victim" of workplace ageism happens to be an uber-glamorous, cashed-up blonde, morning TV presenter.



  1. I'm hearing you, I'm child free (as is my husband) and under employed (aka self employed running a not for profit). When I last tried to get the dole we earnt collectively $40 a week too much and i have several people advise me off record that my best bet would be to get pregnant! *le sigh*

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to know we're not alone in what we are thinking.


  2. The paid parental leave is not really designed to help child-bearing age women stay in the work force. In fact, it will do the opposite, businesses will not employ women of child-bearing age because of the cost of parental leave to them. What this will do is what Abbott and his cronies want - all reproductive women to stay at home and produce babies (the wealthy ones anyway).

  3. Hi and thanks for your considered comment. Post election it looks like we have interesting times ahead.